The platform will debut on something the size of a 3 Series.
BMW is riding an immense wave of success that seems unlikely to abate, whatever the naysayers may proclaim about the future of the brand's styling. BMW understands that styling should always come second to world-class engineering and innovations, and one of the most important prospects in this department is the brand's upcoming Neue Klasse EV platform. Originally intended to support gas-powered vehicles too, Automotive News Europe reports that this was backtracked on in September last year and it will now be an EV-only platform. This has since been confirmed in various press releases.
Using the Neue Klasse name is a big deal for the brand, as it has only ever used this once before, and the results were game-changing. But when will we get to see this new generation of cars, and which cars will benefit first?
During a first-quarter earnings call on Thursday last week, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse announced that the brand will prioritize the midsize premium segment first: "When it hits the market, it will be concentrated on the 3 Series segment and at that point in time the market will have developed into a size where it is reasonable to have only one drivetrain in that architecture." Perhaps the new platform will debut a replacement for the BMW i4, but we'll have to wait and see.
The CEO went on to say that the architecture will also focus on this segment and won't be using it on lower segments or upmarket luxury segments until after its initial launch on midsize cars. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, a spokesperson explained, "The Neue Klasse starts with models from the middle car segment, but of course, there is more to come. The Neue Klasse is our model range for the future - from the high-volume segment to exclusive high-performance models."
Zipse seems very confident that the new architecture will give BMW an edge, saying that "it represents a quantum leap in technology" and will play "a crucial part" in the brand's efforts to sell two million fully electric vehicles by 2025. It also wants half its sales by 2030 to be EV, but BMW will be "doing everything [it] can to meet this goal earlier," said Zipse. The CEO also noted that this platform will offer "more output, new cell chemistry, and new cell formats."
The fact that BMW's new platform will now be exclusively electric is bad news for enthusiasts, but analysts at Deutsche Bank feel the opposite. "We view it as positive that BMW says that from 2025 onward the Neue Klasse will be BEV only, while a lot of market participants had so far understood it was BEV first," the bank said in a note to investors.
We'll know more about the platform and get to experience it relatively soon; Zipse says it will go into production in 2025 at BMW's new Hungary factory.
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